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Vanessa and Her Sister: A Novel by Priya…

Vanessa and Her Sister: A Novel (edition 2014)

by Priya Parmar (Author)

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4788932,843 (3.92)72
Title:Vanessa and Her Sister: A Novel
Authors:Priya Parmar (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (2014), Edition: 1St Edition, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar


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In this book we get to know the people in Bloomsbury Group through Vanessa Stephen's (later Vanessa Bell) journal. This book also contains postcards and letter sent from various members of the group.

I can't say I was overly pleased with the journal approach of this book, and I was a bit confused why there were dialogs in the journal. I mean I haven't written a journal in years, but who writes dialog in it? It would have been just better to have this book written from Vanessa's point of view without the journal entries.

I read Vanessa and Virginia by Susan Sellers some years ago and loved that book so I was intrigued by the thought of reading another book about the sisters, but this book was not nearly as good in my opinion. But still, Vanessa and Her Sister weren't all that bad, if you are interested in Bloomsbury Group, in Vanessa's relationship with Virginia that you will probably find this book interesting to read. Also, even though I wasn't overjoyed about this book, I still liked it, and I especially liked the last part of the book, then the story really picked up. I would have loved to read more about Vanessa's relationship with Roger Fry and Virginia's marriage to Leonard instead there it ended. A bit of a letdown...

Vanessa and Virginia

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
This is a really wonderful novel of the early years of the Bloomsbury Group. They'll go on to be the writer Virginia Woolf, the artist Vanessa Bell, the novelist E. M. Forster, the economist John Maynard Keynes, and other memorable figures, but right now, they are simply the Stephen siblings (Vanessa, Virginia, Thoby, and Adrian) and their friends. The Stephens have taken a house in avant-garde Bloomsbury, and begin hosting daring literary and artistic salons. It's glittering and edgy, optimistic and ambitious, though as yet none of them has achieved much.

Then Thoby dies, and Vanessa, the main anchor for brilliant and unstable Virginia, marries art critic Clive Bell. Virginia feels abandoned, and sets out to get Vanessa's constant attention back.

The story is told through Vanessa's diary, and letters and postcards from and between other characters. I expected to find this novel mildly interesting; instead I found it absolutely compelling. Parmar makes these artistic and intellectual notables utterly fascinating even when they are at their least likable. As just one example, both the growth of the relationship between Clive and Vanessa, and its erosion and breakdown make perfect and painful sense.

Vanessa and Her Sister is an absorbing and enlightening look at the early years of a groundbreaking artistic and intellectual movement in the first years of the 2oth century. Start reading, and you won't put it down.

Highly recommended. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
I’ve of course heard of Virginia Woolf, but knew little of her. This book whet my interest in her novels and I hope to read Mrs. Dolloway. I was very interested in the main character, her sister Vanessa Bell, the painter. I like how Parmar explained in the interview at the end of the book what she’d imagined and what was true in the novel.The author brought her characters alive. I am a very satisfied reader, feeling that I’ve enlightened myself. ( )
  bereanna | Aug 29, 2018 |
dangerous territory, for me, at least. writing historical fiction about such a woman as Virginia Woolf, especially to me, where she sits as my favorite author, untouchable, frightening demon letter queen.

i shouldn't have worried. fluid, filled with tiny snippets of real letters, telegrams, boarding passes, enticing. enviously easy, and giving me a great hunger to read about Vanessa Bell and her life more than anything. Away from the lens of Virginia's obsessive eyes. Addictive and luxuriously pretty, like to be a rich single educated white woman, doing whatever you want and frightening the servants with your re-enactments of greek tragedy in the drawing room.
( )
  adaorhell | Aug 24, 2018 |
What a delightful find! If you enjoy reading titles by or about the Bloomsbury group, this book is for you. The author creates a fictional diary of letters and notes, detailing a period of Vanessa and Virginia's lives. She truly captured the unique qualities of her characters in short anecdotes colored with faux postcards, train tickets, and more. The perfect book to settle down with under a tree or in your favorite reading chair. ( )
  JoanDudzinski | Aug 2, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Priya Parmarprimary authorall editionscalculated
Calf, AnthonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corbett, ClareNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fox, EmiliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pirrie, DanielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhind-Tutt, JulianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In 1905 a group of friends began to meet in the drawing room of a London townhouse in the bohemian neighborhood known as Bloomsbury. Defying the conventions of their day, they were brimming with new ideas about art, literature, love and friendship. Innovative and headstrong, they would go on to change the course of art and letters in the twentieth century. History remembers them as the Bloomsbury Group.
For Tina and Nicky who made growing up fun and for M and D who gave us the moon
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THE PARTY- Thursday 23 February 1905 ---- 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London (early)----

I opened the great sash window onto the morning pink of the square and made a decision.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080417637X, Hardcover)

For fans of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank comes a captivating novel that offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of Vanessa Bell, her sister Virginia Woolf, and the controversial and popular circle of intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group.
London 1905. The city is alight with change and the Stephen siblings are at the forefront. Vanessa, Virginia, Thoby, and Adrian are leaving behind their childhood home and taking a house in the leafy heart of avant-garde Bloomsbury. There they bring together a glittering circle of brilliant, outrageous artistic friends who will grow into legend and come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. And at the center of the charmed circle are the devoted, gifted sisters: Vanessa, the painter, and Virginia, the writer.
Each member of the group will go on to earn fame and success, but so far Vanessa Bell has never sold a painting. Virginia Woolf’s book review has just been turned down by The Times. Lytton Strachey has not published anything. E. M. Forster has finished his first novel but does not like the title. Leonard Woolf is still a civil servant in Ceylon, and John Maynard Keynes is looking for a job. Together, this sparkling coterie of writers and artists throw away convention and embrace the wild freedom of being young, single bohemians in London.
But the landscape shifts when Vanessa unexpectedly falls in love and her sister feels dangerously abandoned. Eerily possessive, charismatic, manipulative, and brilliant, Virginia has always lived in the shelter of Vanessa’s constant attention and encouragement. Without it, she careens toward self-destruction and madness. As tragedy and betrayal threaten to destroy the family, Vanessa must decide if it is finally time to protect her own happiness above all else.
The work of exciting young newcomer Priya Parmar, Vanessa and Her Sister exquisitely captures the champagne-heady days of prewar London and the extraordinary lives of sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.

Advance praise for Vanessa and Her Sister
“Priya Parmar is on a high-wire act all her own in this radiantly original novel about the Bloomsbury Set. Irrepressible, with charm and brio to spare, Vanessa and Her Sister boldly invites us to that moment in history when famous minds sparked and collided, shaping the terrain of art and letters. But it’s the two sisters who are most bewitching here—rocking on the brink of unforgivable transgression, changing each other in ways far-reaching and profound. Prepare to be dazzled.”—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife
“With sparkling wit and insight, Priya Parmar sets us down into the legendary Bloomsbury household of the Stephen siblings, where sisters Vanessa and Virginia vie for love and primacy amid a collection of eccentric guests. Vanessa and Her Sister kidnapped me for a couple of days. I couldn’t put it down.”—Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank
“This is the novel I didn’t know I was waiting for, and it is, quite simply, astonishing. Not just because of Priya Parmar’s preternatural skill at evoking the moment when the lid was coming off the Victorians and the heated talk about art, life, and sex swirled through Bloomsbury, but because of how she has caught the two sisters at the center of that swirl—the women who would become Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. Vanessa and Her Sister is beautiful and wise, and as deft as a stroke upon the canvas.”—Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:41 -0400)

"In 1905, Virginia and Vanessa Stephens and their brothers Thoby and Adrian moved to unfashionable, bohemian Bloomsbury. All in their twenties, orphaned and unmarried, they began holding Thursday night gatherings in their unchaperoned, unconventional drawing room. Most of the young guests in that room would become famous, breaking the old rules and blazing their own new paths. It is from Vanessa's point of view at the center of this eccentric, charmed circle of artists and intellectuals that this novel is told, with unsparing honesty about their friendships, their love affairs, and in particular her own troubled relationship with her complicated, brilliant sister Virginia"--… (more)

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